Elizabeth was directed by our Lord that, instead of following cultural tradition and naming her son Zechariah, after his father, she instead insists that her son be called John, to which his father agrees. In those days, first-born males were named after their fathers, since most of the time they followed in their father’s career footsteps, as in the case of the priest Zechariah. So Elizabeth’s going against the grain surprises everyone. This seems to indicate that, even before he was born, John’s parents remembered the Lord’ message and recognized that their son, Jesus’ cousin, would indeed be leading quite a different life than that of his father.

Especially during the season of Advent, as we prepare for the coming of our Savior, are we taking the time to slow down and listen to what God is saying to us? Feed your spiritual growth and pay attention to the message God is sending you.

John and Katie Nicolau are active members of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Glenview IL, where they have lived for over 23 years. They have been married for 32 years and have 4 children, three of whom graduated from Loyola Academy, Wilmette, IL, John’s alma mater. John also serves on the board of Charis, a Jesuit ministry for young adults.